poliun (s.xiiiin)

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poliun (s.xiiiin)

[ gdw]

[ FEW: ; Gdf: ; GdfC: ; TL: ; DEAF:  polium; DMF: ; TLF: ; OED:  poly n.1; MED: ; DMLBS: 2333b polium ]
polium,  poili  

This plant-name normally refers to the Mediterranean germander (Teucrium polium), an aromatic herb with small pink or white flowers that was used in cooking or medicinal preparations. The word is common in Classical and Medieval Latin and is attested in Old English. It only re-emerges in English in the second half of the sixteenth-century. In French, the word is rare, with attestations only in Norman and Anglo-Norman sources, and its sense is ambiguous: it seems to refer to a range of fragrant herbs, including germander but also penny-royal. In the lapidary of engraved gems (Lapid) poliun translates polipodium in the original Latin source: i.e. polypody, or a type of fern. This particular sense was selected in AND 1 as the primary definition of poliun, but is questionable, both on etymological and semantic grounds: the context suggest that a fragrant herb would have been placed in the ring together with aloes, while another translation of the same lapidary uses the term puliol (penny-royal). It therefore seems that the word polipodium in the Latin source text may be an error or corruption of polium.

Finally, the attestation in Spicers is either a scrambled spelling of poliun muntain, or something different altogether.


1bot.Mediterranean germander, aromatic herb with small pink or white flowers (Teucrium polium); or penny-royal, variety of mint (Mentha pulegium)
( s.xiiiin; MS: s.xiii1 )  ceste piere (=jacinth with the image of a woman) metez en un anel [...] et metez desoz la piere ambre et del fust ke l’en apele aloe et l’erbe ke l’en apele poliun (Latin: herba que dicitur polipodium), et cil ke ceste piere portera si plaira a totes femmes [...]  293.xli.6
( 1266-1300; MS: c.1300 )  Le cuer confortent cestes choses: [...] violette, letuse savage, polium, polegium, calamente, origanum, mente, mentastre [...]  89.619
( MS: s.xiv1/4 )  Priapiscus: (B1) gallice polion  214
poliun muntain (?)
1bot.mountain germander (Teucrium montanum) (?)
( s.xivin )  Item pour calamenti 6 d. / Item pour poili mianti 15 d.  46
poliot  pulegie  pulegin  puliol 
This is an AND2 Phase 4 (N-O/U-P-Q) entry. © 2013-17 The Anglo-Norman Dictionary. All rights reserved. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom.